The energy puzzle for companies - Trends-Tendances sur PC

The corporate energy puzzle – Companies

At UCB, Ecosteryl, Etex, Axa and elsewhere, measures are taken to reduce energy consumption.

Most companies have taken steps to reduce their energy consumption. Axa, for example, decided to lower the thermostat by 2°C and to deactivate the heating/air conditioning system of its Brussels headquarters two hours earlier. “These measures are in addition to those already put in place to achieve energy neutrality at our head office: triple glazing, LED lighting, photovoltaic panels, etc.”, explains the insurer in a press release. UCB has embarked on similar initiatives. The pharmaceutical company has also decided to measure the occupancy of its buildings and to close them when it is low. Non-critical units are also shut down. UCB v…

Most companies have taken steps to reduce their energy consumption. Axa, for example, decided to lower the thermostat by 2°C and to deactivate the heating/air conditioning system of its Brussels headquarters two hours earlier. “These measures are in addition to those already put in place to achieve energy neutrality at our head office: triple glazing, LED lighting, photovoltaic panels, etc.”, explains the insurer in a press release. UCB has embarked on similar initiatives. The pharmaceutical company has also decided to measure the occupancy of its buildings and to close them when it is low. Non-critical units are also shut down. UCB will also strengthen its management strategy for cogeneration systems and accelerate geothermal projects or the installation of photovoltaic panels. Companies also make sure to remind their employees of these small gestures (ventilate, limit lighting, air conditioning, etc.) whose addition ends up being noticeable. “Even if it’s only a 5% reduction in consumption, it’s a step in the right direction, insists Olivier Dufrasne, president of Ecosteryl. We can’t change much about the machine tools that make the machines that we export around the world but we can act on everyone’s daily actions.” This Mons company has developed discussion areas, so that its employees (40 people) can think about ways to reduce their consumption at work, as well as at home. “It’s part of our role as a business leader, believes Olivier Dufrasne. And it’s even more true in a company active in the environmental sector like Ecosteryl. It’s at the heart of our fundamental values.” These actions are certainly useful, but they have nothing in common with those that the high-consumption industry must take in order to keep its bills under control. “Producing our plasterboards and then drying them requires working with high temperatures, says Bernard Delvaux, CEO of Etex. To melt glass and manufacture glass wool, we set up the furnaces at 1,200 or 1,300°C. Our consumption is out of all proportion to that of administrative buildings. If we did not have fixed contracts, we would have had an impact of one billion euros on our Ebitda.” The problem will arise when contracts are renewed. If energy prices were to remain significantly higher in Europe than in China and the United States, products that were not financially importable will become so and this would jeopardize European industry. “We are committed to the decarbonization of our production, but the objective is to reduce our emissions by 35% by 2030, continues Bernard Delvaux. This requires colossal investments, sometimes tens of millions per plant.” However, the Etex group is made up of 140 factories, spread over 45 countries and therefore with the possibility of very diverse alternatives depending on the region. “We are working on the ideal energy mix but also on technological improvements, adds the CEO. If we manage to reduce the share of water in the manufacture of plasterboard, it will then be necessary to dry them less. This can significantly reduce our consumption. .It’s a long-term job.”

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